Chicago Bears Announce Bid to Buy Arlington Park Property in Arlington Heights, Illinois

Arlington Park Aerial  (Imagery ©2021 Google, Landsat / Copernicus, NOAA, Imagery ©2021 Maxar Technologies, U.S. Geological Survey USDA Farm Service Agency, Map data ©2021)
Arlington Park Aerial (Imagery ©2021 Google, Landsat / Copernicus, NOAA, Imagery ©2021 Maxar Technologies, U.S. Geological Survey USDA Farm Service Agency, Map data ©2021).

The Chicago Bears announced Thursday, June 17, 2021 the NFL Chicago football team has submitted a bid to buy the property at Euclid Avenue and Wilke Road in Arlington Heights where Arlington Park is up for sale by Churchill Downs.

“We recently submitted a bid to purchase the Arlington International Racecourse property. It’s our obligation to explore every possible option to ensure we’re doing what’s best for our organization and its future. If selected, this step allows us to further evaluate the property and its potential.”

— Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips

Developers and investors needed to submit offers to Churchill Downs, the owner of Arlington International Racecourse, earlier this week — a deadline of Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

There are less than 10 prospective buyers who have serious proposals on the table bidding for the property.

There was speculation that the Chicago Bears would be searching for an opportunity to leave Soldier Field, which is owned by the Chicago Park District and leased to the Chicago Bears. Soldier Field is the oldest stadium in the NFL and has served as the home venue for a number of other sports teams, including the University of Notre Dame football team and the NFL Chicago Cardinals (later the St. Louis Cardinals and now the Arizona Cardinals).

The capacity of Soldier Field is 61,500, making the stadium unlikely to ever host a Super Bowl.

While Soldier Field has a beautiful backdrop with the skyline of Chicago and the lakefront, access is limited on its entire east side because of Lake Michigan.

The Arlington Heights location would have access via expressway Illinois Route 53 just to the west and I-90 from the south. The property at Arlington Park already has its own Metra train station.

The interchange at Illinois Route 53 and Northwest Highway (US-14) would likely get a full interchange so that all south traffic from Route 53 would not access the stadium from Euclid Avenue.

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